GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Win a Set of Morgan Rhodes’ FALLING KINGDOMS Books Plus a FALLING KINGDOMS Dartboard

There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for a set of Morgan Rhodes’ FALLING KINGDOMS books Plus a FALLING KINGDOMS Dartboard…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Win a Copy of NEAR DEATH by Glenn Cooper

There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for Near Death by Glenn Cooper…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-12

Interviews & Profiles

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BOOK REVIEW: John Golden Freelance Debugger and John Golden and the Heroes of Mazaroth by Django Wexler

REVIEW SUMMARY: A funny and diverting pair of novellas showing the author’s range beyond epic fantasy

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS:John Golden is a Debugger, whose job is to debug computer systems of something even nastier than Trojans or Viruses.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Strong, snarky commentary from Sarah on events; excellent narrative voice; high concept; solid humor and geeky references.
CONS: Worldbuilding is a touch light; much more is suggested than shown.
BOTTOM LINE: An interesting pair of urban fantasy novellas with a distinct voice.

Cyberpunk is not a flavor of science fiction that is often mixed into fantasy, despite some of the obvious parallels and ideas in the two subgenres. Spells are often as complicated and finicky as computer programs. A.I.s can be as powerful and dangerous as any Djinn. Virtual worlds and fantasy realms seem like two ideas made for each other. However they have not been explicitly put together all that often. Kelly McCullough’s Webmage series mixed mythology with computer programming; Jane Lindskold and Roger Zelazny’s Donnerjack had the Internet transform itself a fantasy otherworld. Shadowrun, of course, is perhaps the best known RPG example. And now Django Wexler’s two novellas about debugger John Golden can be added to that list.
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The Three Hoarsemen (Episode 16): The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson, with Karen Burnham

John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson gather for the SECOND episode of December! This time out they are joined by Karen Burnham to talk about William Hope Hodgson’s classic The House on the Borderland. Topics include the novel’s unique storytelling, possible interpretations, and where it falls in the spectrum of SF/F.

Fred has posted a companion piece to this episode on his blog as an introduction to both Hodgson and the book.

And even though we discussed our recent genre culture consumed in last week’s episode, we still manage to have more to talk about.

Total running time: 1 hour 11 minutes.

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[GUEST POST] Catherine Lundoff on LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy 2000-2010 (Part 1)


Catherine Lundoff lives in Minneapolis with her wife, two cats and a huge number of unfinished projects. She writes, edits, toils in IT and is currently on the brink of a grand new adventure. Follow her on Twitter at @clundoff or via her website at www.catherinelundoff.com.

LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy 2000-2010 (Part 1)

by Catherine Lundoff

The dawn of the 21st century brought massive changes to the publishing industry, fueled in part by a surge in epublishing. More efficient and portable e-readers enabled readers to access an increasing number of ebook publications, fueling ebook sales. Larger print publishers, many of which were unprepared for the shift, responded by consolidating or closing their doors. There were additional impacts to brick-and-mortar stores as well as to print distribution of books and magazines. Many authors responded to these changes by releasing their own books in a variety of formats, sometimes by starting their own small and medium-sized presses.

Alongside the shifting landscape of publishing, there were significant changes in the visibility and legal status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. LGBT people and their allies pushed for, and in many cases, won recognition of their relationships, equal employment protection, the opportunity to serve openly in the military and other opportunities that they had been heretofore barred from. This increased visibility was reflected in science fiction and fantasy fandom as well as published works, genre TV, comics and elsewhere.
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MIND MELD: Best SF/F Movies of 2014

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

This week, we asked our esteemed panelists the following question:

Q: What was the best SF/F movie of 2014?

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Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: More Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Adaptations

Films and television shows based on speculative fiction books are the new norm. Want proof? Check out my latest roundup over on Kirkus Reviews: Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Adaptation Watch – December 2014

Coming in 2015, A New Annual Anthology Series: THE YEAR’S BEST MILITARY SF AND SPACE OPERA Edited by David Afsharirad

Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming anthology The Year’s Best Military SF and Space Opera edited by David Afsharirad. It looks like the start of a new annual anthology by the description. (Which perhaps reveals its original title…?)

Note: A larger cover appears after the jump.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-11

Interviews & Profiles

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Everything Wrong With “V For Vendetta” in 11 Minutes or Less

Yes, it’s true…even movies we love are not immune to the forces of logic…

Damn you, logic!!!

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BOOK REVIEW: Severance by Chris Bucholz

REVIEW SUMMARY: Bucholz has written a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat story about a generation ship bound for another planet, and the secrets it contains just might destroy the ship and everyone on board.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: When Laura Stein discovers a plot to split the generation ship in two (killing half of the passengers before they reach their new planet), she stumbles upon a vast conspiracy involving martial law, genetic manipulation, and political intrigue.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Bucholz keeps us guessing at every turn, offering clues about the conspiracy at just the right times; pacing, humor, and dialogue are spot-on.
CONS: Some scenes are too heavy on the technical detail and too light on character development.
BOTTOM LINE: If you’re looking for an addictive story that explores issues of human colonization, genetic manipulation, and the vagaries of human nature, you need to read Severance.

It’s been over two hundred years since the Argos, a generation ship, left Earth, bound for a new home (Tau Pruis III). Now, you might suppose that the people on board have somehow progressed beyond the violence and intolerance and hatred practiced on Earth in order to have survived for this long on a ship in the middle of Nowhere, Space, right? Yeah, well, not so fast…
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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 12/9/2014

Crowd funding is the in thing for obtaining money to fund a variety of projects, with Kickstarter being the most prominent of these sites. With new projects going live daily, it’s a chore to keep up with, let alone find, interesting genre projects. The Crowd Funding Roundup will be our effort to bring projects we think are interesting to your attention so you can, if you so choose, decide to help out. These posts are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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[GUEST POST] Glenn Cooper on The Story Behind NEAR DEATH (Plus: Giveaway)


Glenn Cooper has a degree in archaeology from Harvard and practiced medicine as an infectious diseases specialist. He was the CEO of a biotechnology company for almost twenty years, has written numerous screenplays and has produced three independent feature films. His novels have sold six million copies in thirty-one languages. He lives in Gilford, New Hampshire.

The Story Behind NEAR DEATH

by Glenn Cooper

I had long been aware of the phenomenon of near death experiences (NDEs) when, as a young doctor, I took care of a very ill patient who had one. She was a teenager with advanced leukemia which was resistant to therapy and one day on the wards, she had a cardiac arrest. We got her heart going again and revived her and when she was stabilized she tearfully recounted her experience, replete with many of the iconic references to floating above the bed, tunnels of light, meeting a deceased family member, a grandparent, if I recall. In those days I was too busy and strung out with exhaustion to study the phenomenon but I tucked the memory of that day away, remembering it the day the girl died and again, many years later when I thought I might want to write a film script about near death experiences.
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Special Needs in Strange Worlds: An Interview with Mercedes M. Yardley

Mercedes Murdock Yardley is a friend of mine. We talk frequently, and commiserate about health issues neither of us can control, just deal with as best as we can. She’s an up-and-coming author with several books under her belt, and more on the way. She’s creative, and passionate, and an absolute joy to talk to.

One of the things that always gets me about her writing, especially now that I know her on a personal level, is how certain aspects of her life fuel her books. Her books are dark and delicious, with a shocking (and quite refreshing) innocence, and an undertone of deep, profound loss, all of which is reflective of the life she has lived, and the challenges she faces daily.

I asked her if she’d be willing to open up with me about her life, her son with Williams Syndrome, and how it has all impacted her writing. This conversation is the result of that. Huge thanks to Mercedes for being willing to talk about these tender topics.

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GIVEAWAY (US Only): Win a Set of Morgan Rhodes’ FALLING KINGDOMS Books Plus a FALLING KINGDOMS Dartboard!

To promote the release of Gathering Darkness, the third novel in the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes, SF Signal has a sweet Falling Kingdoms prize pack to give away to 1 lucky SF Signal reader, courtesy of Penguin Young Readers!

The winner will receive:

Here’s more information about what the series is about and how you may win:
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Cover & Synopsis: DREAM PARIS by Tony Ballantyne (with Cover Art by Joey HiFi)

Just like Dream London before it, Tony Ballantyne’s sequel gets some excellent cover art from Joey HiFi.

Check out the synopsis and cover (larger version below) for the upcoming novel Dream Paris by Tony Ballantyne.
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Table of Contents: FANTASTIC STORIES OF THE IMAGINATION, December 2014

Fantastic Stories of the Imagination has posted the table of contents for their new issue:
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Listen to an Audio Sample of Jack Campbell’s THE DRAGONS OF DORCASTLE

Grab a listen to this audio sample of Jack Campbell’s new audiobook The Dragons of Dorcastle: The Pillars of Reality, Book 1, read by MacLeod Andrews, available now through Audible and described thusly:

The first audiobook in a thrilling new epic fantasy saga, written exclusively for Audible by Jack Campbell, the New York Times bestselling author of THE LOST FLEET series!

For centuries, the two Great Guilds have controlled the world of Dematr. The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything that humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of the world behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

Mari is a brilliant young Mechanic, just out of the Guild Halls where she has spent most of her life learning how to run the steam locomotives and other devices of her Guild. Alain is the youngest Mage ever to learn how to change the world he sees with the power of his mind. Each has been taught that the works of the other’s Guild are frauds. But when their caravan is destroyed, they begin to discover how much has been kept from them.

As they survive danger after danger, Alain discovers what Mari doesn’t know—that she was long ago prophesized as the only one who can save their world. When Mari reawakens emotions he had been taught to deny, Alain realizes he must sacrifice everything to save her. Mari, fighting her own feelings, discovers that only together can she and Alain hope to stay alive and overcome the Dragons of Dorcastle.

Head on over to SoundCloud for the sample.

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Win a Digital Copy of CLEAN (Mindspace Investigations #1) by Alex Hughes

There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for Clean by Alex Hughes…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

A science fiction blog featuring science fiction book reviews and with frequent ramblings on fantasy, computers and the web.